How I Met Your Mother‘s highly-anticipated series finale may have been divisive among viewers and critics alike, but the show will certainly be remembered fondly by a large portion of fans who followed Ted Mosby’s search for love from beginning to end. Along with the endless supply of fun flashbacks, signature motifs and Barney Stinson catchphrases, fans will undoubtedly highlight the cast’s chemistry and the story’s memorable – yet sometimes unreliable – narrator (voiced by comedian Bob Saget) when reminiscing about the series.

While always offscreen and mostly unnoticed, Saget’s contributions to the show’s tone and humor were still significant. Considering this, the folks behind the scenes of the show’s upcoming spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, knew that casting the storytelling voice of their mother character would require a serious search – a search that ended this week with 1990s rom-com star Meg Ryan joining the cast as its narrator.

Neither CBS nor 20th Century FOX Television made an immediate comment regarding the casting, but The Wrap is confirming that Ryan has secured the role as the voice of the (older) mother, while Greta Gerwig – as previously reported – will portray the younger version. Gerwig is also on board to produce alongside HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

Like its predecessor’s final episode, news of CBS’ pickup of the How I Met Your Dad pilot has been met with some surprised reactions, and it’s possible Ryan’s casting as the show’s future mom will do the same. Though Ryan has starred in some of the most popular romantic comedies in the past few decades (When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, to name a couple), she has made very few film and TV appearances in the last five years.

Of course, the voice role will require much less involvement for Ryan, but if the show captures just a modicum of the success HIMYM enjoyed for nine seasons, she will certainly become an integral ingredient of the series’ comedic flavor.

While we can assume that flavor will mirror that of HIMYM – especially with Bays and Thomas involved – the show will also attempt to create its own perspective on love with all-new characters. Here’s a brief synopsis for the upcoming pilot:

“The pilot stars Greta Gerwig as Sally, a female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she’s going in life. She has just figured out that she has nothing in common with her husband of less than a year. A breakup is inevitable, but Sally will find a solid circle of support in her friends and family, who are often too willing to give ‘good’ advice that can backfire badly. Meanwhile, Sally must filter out the input and decide what’s best for her.”

We all know spinoffs are often met with trepidation and skepticism, but this seems to be especially true when the spinoff is born from a successful and popular series that has just ended its nearly decade-long run with a much-debated finale.

Does Ryan’s casting put you more or less at ease? Or were you already gung-ho for How I Met Your Dad? Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned for more updates on How I Met Your Dad as they come in.

Source: The Wrap